People: Wee Beastie keeps getting bigger

IT'S always encouraging to hear about Scots doing well abroad, flying the flag for business in far-flung corners of the globe.

One such story comes from New York, where East Kilbride-born Chris McKenna runs Wee Beastie, a production company and advertising agency rolled into one.

Wee Beastie has created trailers and marketing material for TV stations including the Disney Channel, Animal Planet and National Geographic.

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The latest project for McKenna – who cut his teeth making trailers for the BBC in London before a spell with BBC America, promoting Doctor Who and Top Gear – has been working for the owner of the Discovery Channel to help convince advertisers to buy commercial slots for shows in advance during the current "up fronts" sales period.

McKenna, who turns 40 in June, and business partner Monica Hinden have grown their business over the past four years to employ six staff.

McKenna says: "After leaving the BBC and working with the Learning Channel, I began to realise there was another way to live your life, rather than just working for someone else.

"There's not the same fear of failure in America – people are prepared to take a risk and start their own companies."

Food for thought for those trying to encourage more business start-ups back home in Scotland perhaps?

On the other side of the world, Christian Hogg continues to enjoy success in Hong Kong with Aim-listed Hutchison China MediTech, better known as Chi-Med.

Hogg, who grew up in Jedburgh, revealed that Chi-Med's main proprietary prescription cardiovascular disease drug has gained a seven-year extension of its "confidential state secret technology" status.

Hogg hailed the extension as an "important achievement" that should help the company's healthcare division maintain its "positive momentum".

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The extension was awarded by the wonderfully named Ministry of Science and Technology and State Secrecy Bureau in China, whose name just sounds so much cooler than the UK Patent Office.


Michael Bloomberg

NEW York's mayor was forced to defend his philanthropic foundation after critics railed against its money managers, who have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in offshore tax havens. He said the practices were "appropriate to maximise the assets that I'm giving away to charities".


Lesley Knox

ALLIANCE Trust chairwoman Lesley Knox is to lead the board of Design Dundee, the new company set up to bring an offshoot of the Victoria and Albert Museum to the "City of Discovery". Knox, who has chaired the Alliance Trust board since 2004, was a governor at the Museum of London for nine years.